By Scott Tibbs, May 18, 2011
So now we see Richard Lugar's true colors. Rattled by the fact that he is facing a serious primary challenge in 2012, Lugar petulantly lashed out in a May 9 e-mail to supporters. See the text here.
First, Lugar lashes out at Republican county chairpersons, saying they have been "duped" into endorsing Richard Mourdock. Is this what Lugar really thinks of those who support his opponent? Does Lugar really believe they are stupid? Does he believe insulting these county chairpersons will be more likely to support him now?
Second, you can't compare Mourdock to Christine O'Donnell (1, 2, 3, 4) or Sharron Angle. With all due respect to both women, neither are proven winners. Angle lost a primary for a seat in Congress in 2006 before losing to Harry Reid in 2010, and O'Donnell ran for the U.S. Senate three times and lost all three times.
Mourdock is a proven statewide vote-getter. He was elected Secretary of State in 2006 with 52% of the vote (in a year where three incumbent Republican members of Congress were defeated) and won re-election with an overwhelming 62.5% of the vote last November. He is also a former candidate for Congress.
Furthermore, Indiana is a solidly Republican state. That can't be said of Nevada, and Delaware is a solidly Democratic state. Mitch Daniels was re-elected with nearly 60% of the vote in 2008 and Dan Coats ran over Brad Ellsworth with 57.7% of the vote in last year's U.S. Senate election. Mike Pence will almost certainly be elected governor by a wide margin and Barack Obama will lose Indiana next year.
To suggest that 2012 will follow in the same pattern as Nevada and Delaware in 2010 and that the Democratic nominee will defeat Mourdock is just silly - especially if that nominee is Joe Donnelly, who was barely re-elected with a plurality of 48% of the vote last November.
Richard Lugar has been in office for a long time, and it is clear he feels entitled to his office. He's not entitled to anything, especially after his votes for Barack Obama's nominees to the Supreme Court. Lugar supported both the Brady Bill and the assault weapons ban, earning the ire of gun-rights advocates. He has more than earned a primary challenge, and it is exactly this kind of arrogant, petulant response that demonstrates why he should be defeated next year.